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How to paint old tile and grout with Epoxy paint!

Updated on August 8, 2014

Epoxy paint for old tile

Finishing look with epoxy paint
Finishing look with epoxy paint

Epoxy paint for old tile and grout

If you're searching online for how to paint old tile and grout in your home you've come to the right place.

Although a tedious project, painting your tile instead of tearing it out can be done cost effectively and beautifully for about $30.00 USD + your sweat equity.

I'll be including our personal results using RUSTOLEUM 7860519 White Bathtub & Title Refinish Paint.

Hopefully you'll find this article informative and resourceful for this easy DIY project.

Green tile

This photo is pre-paint job
This photo is pre-paint job

Our story...

Our home was built in 1969, and although our bathroom was functional, it was visually hideous and outdated. Before we painted, we had horrible wallpaper, a yellow and brown vanity, a 1980s medicine cabinet, but worst of all...1970's puke green tile surrounding the small shower in our master bathroom. It's as if the previous owners had a hay day layering various time periods.

The tile was loose in places, the grout was dark and disgusting, and even after my husband remodeled the entire bathroom, we still saw that awful green tile! So...we decided to paint it. I don't believe we got perfect results with painting, but it sure made a difference and saved us hundreds of dollars in time and expense had we replaced it. I was confident to paint the tile rather than replace since it is only on the exterior of our shower, the inside of the shower has a surround so the tile won't be getting wet very often. We used this paint on a bathtub in a condo we previously owned and after about 5 years of use the tub was chipping, peeling, and flaking. I think this paint is perfect for tile that is not constantly exposed to water. Although it will hold up under those circumstances, you can almost expect to repeat this process after about 5 years of use.

Anyhow...on to the paint job!

Mini paint roller


What you will need

  • Rustoleum 7860519 White Bathtub & Tile Refinish Paint
  • Latex gloves
  • Paintbrushes (you do not mind throwing away)
  • Mini paint roller (or rollers that fit the size of your project, the mini rollers worked best for us).
  • 400/600 Wet/dry sandpaper
  • Respirator masks (VERY IMPORTANT)
  • Masking tape
  • Scrub brushes and Lime-A-Way (or bleach and water)
  • Tack cloth

Prepping the tile

  1. Prepare your tile by first checking for cracks, loose pieces, then repair and replace as necessary.
  2. Remove bath hardware and any old caulk.
  3. Clean the tile and grout with a mixture of bleach and water or Lime-A-Way, being sure to remove dirt, soap scum, and any other filth on the tiles, and let it dry completely. Repeat if needed.
  4. Using 400/600 fine wet/dry sandpaper give each tile a good scuffing, and then wipe away any excessive dust with your tack cloth.
  5. Tape off any areas you do not want this paint to get on with masking tape. Epoxy paint is very solid and strong once dry, so this is important.

This entire prep process takes about 1-2 hours depending on the extent of repair and cleaning you need to do.

Our tile had some bad damage that needed repaired so this took us a lot longer. About 1-2 days.

Painting the tile

  1. Begin ventilating the area, this paint is very very strong! I cannot emphasize this enough. Open windows, remove children and pets, and get good circulation going.
  2. Mix the paint as directed. Give it about 10-15 minutes to "set up", the directions did not note this but we noticed when we first applied it, it was very runny. After about 10 minutes it thickened. Had we known this ahead of time we would have avoided a 3rd coat. Learn by our mistake!
  3. Put on your respirators and latex gloves and begin painting! Apply the first coat, then place all your tools, including the paint into the freezer. Wait 1-2 hours and apply the second coat. This paint will not harden if placed into the freezer.
  4. Clean up and get some fresh air!
  5. Allow the paint 3-5 days to dry before exposing to water or moisture.
  6. Replace your hardware and fixtures, re-caulk as needed.
  7. Enjoy your new old tile!


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    Post Comment
    • bradmasterOCcal profile image


      22 months ago

      It was interesting, and I have tried many ways to clean the grout, and even one way of painting. All Failed. Thanks for the article.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Looks easy enough. Plus I can save more.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      This is such a great idea and will save many dollars for those on a tight budget. We have worked with tile before and this idea is much easier and a time-saver. Thanks for the information. Voted up++

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Interesting and very useful.

      Enjoy your day.


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Painting old tile and grout with Epoxy paint! Wow this is helpful and so well explained. You have created an informative, most useful hub. A simple procedure and sounds worth a try. Great tips!


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